Disclaimer: I do not own Death note or any of its fictional characters or locations.

Changing Faces

Chapter One

The Assessment

"You got any other games than this one?" complained Matt. "It's way too easy for me."

Yet, his eyes are glued to the screen, observed the psychologist with some amusement. "What kinds of games do you usually like playing?" he asked.

"All kinds, I guess," Matt told him confidently. "I win them all, so it doesn't really matter." He was silent for a while, but the psychologist sensed he had something to add. "But...I guess I like the ones which make me think most."

"Do you find those challenging?"

"Nuh. I win all of them. Uh, I wish I had my goggles," Matt said, screwing up his eyes. "I feel so weird like this."

"Why did you leave them behind?"

"'Cos..." Matt trailed off. The psychologist got the feeling he was searching for an answer but couldn't find one. "I don't know. Just 'cos."

"Matt, do you know why you have been brought here?"

"Watari thought I could go for a psych sesh, I guess." He smirked. "Or maybe Near thought I was getting too good and is trying to slow me down."

"Maybe," smiled the psychologist. "Okay, final question."

"Sure, go for it."

"Have you heard of the Kira case?"

Matt didn't react. Didn't look up from his game. "Nope."

Confidant, wrote the psychologist. Almost cocky. Needs to have something to do. Something to engage his mind with? Charming.

"Okay, well that's all for now. You can go. Can you send Near in for me?"

Near played with the Lego pieces, building an intricate empire out of the little interlocking bits of plastic.

"By the way, I apologize for the Lego not being very good quality," apologized the psychologist.

"It's unimportant. They work," Near told him without looking at him. They were both on the ground.

"Near, could you tell me why you like to play with toys?"

"They aren't toys. They are tools." Near twirled a tendril of dark hair.

"Is it because they help you think?"

"You don't need me to answer that."

"No." He knows I'm smart enough to know that. "Are there any other reasons you like to play with... Tools?"

The figure crouched on the ground turned his face towards him and gave him a smile that was simultaneously charming and disturbing. "It's also fun."

"Do you know why you're here?"

"No."

"Do you know about Mello and Matt?"

"I do."

"And how do you feel about them?

"They are intelligent. They are friends." The psychologist wrote a little note on his paper. They are friends, not they are my friends.

"Do you like them?"

Near considered this. "I suppose."

The psychologist decided it was time to end to interview with one last question. "Okay, almost finished. Have you ever heard of the Kira case?"

Near was silent for a few moments. "No," he eventually answered.

The psychologist began writing again. Very robotic answers. Doesn't seem to associate feelings with people. Likes seeing how things fit together?

"Thankyou, Near. Can you send Mello in now?"

Mello ate some more of the chocolate the psychologist had been so kind as to provide. It wasn't the best he'd had, but it was edible.

Oddly, there had been some toys on the table. The psychologist had put them away, explaining he'd recently been with another client.

"...So, Mello," the psychologist continued smoothly. Mello stared at him blandly, knowing he looked overly aggressive, as he chiselled away at the chocolate with his teeth. "Onto our next question. What is it you do with your life?"

"I like solving cases," Mello grunted.

"So, you like catching criminals?"

"I like solving cases."

"And what is the best part-"

"Solving the cases."

Seeing that he wasn't going to get any further with this line of questioning, the psychologist jotted a note onto his paper. An inferiority complex. Solves cases to justify intelligence. "Could you tell me why you like to eat so much chocolate?"

Mello glared at him incredulously. "Why wouldn't you?"

"Fair enough. And now, Mello, could you tell me what you know of the Kira case?"

Mello looked at him in confusion. "The what?"

"So you've never heard of it?"

"Never. Is it an important case?" Mello's competitive edge began to raise its head.

"Not at all," murmured the psychologist as he wrote, very aggressive. An inferiority complex? Seems to be the kind of person to rush into danger while full knowing the consequences. Brave. Possibly self destructive. "I think that's enough for today."

The psychologist looked over to Watari, his cream coloured office walls contrasting sharply with the older man's dark suit. "I think I've managed to identify each of the three I was able to speak to today, along with what they represent." He reported.

"The first, Matt, seems to be a carefree young man. I believe he may represent some kind of desire to be fee of responsibility."

"The second is Near. He appears to have little interest beyond solving his puzzles. He is the logical aspect, the part that solves the cases."

"But they all solve cases," Watari protested in bewilderment.

"Yes, but would I be correct in assuming they each go about it in different ways?"

Watari thought this over. "You would be, yes."

"Matt solves cases less than the others, correct?"

"...Yes, now that you mention it, he does."

"Does he ever actually take on cases which involve lives at stake?"

"No, he never does!" exclaimed Watari, surprised he'd never seen this before.

"But Near is the direct opposite. He takes on all cases, if they are challenging enough. He focuses on laying all the pieces in advance so he can put them all together at once. Am I right so far?" Watari nodded. "That is because he is the logical one. He can see his pieces and would rather have them all together before uniting them."

"I suppose that makes sense," Watari told him.

"The final persona is Mello. He is extremely aggressive, and equally competitive. He is also very brave. As well as this, he seems to have an inferiority complex, and possibly self-destructive inclinations. I believe he represents all suppressed emotions. He is the one who is angry at the world. Instead of swallowing his frustrations and fixing the problems, Mello gets furious and rushes head-long into the situation, even though he fully knows of the danger. Does that sound like an accurate description to you?"

Watari chuckled a little. "It does."

"Mello seems a little heedless of others' emotions. He doesn't seem to care about them. I think that this aspect of Mello links in with the inferiority complex. He's been made to feel inferior for so long that he doesn't see why he should care about the people who make him feel that way."

To that Watari couldn't think of anything to say. "But...the last one. L. Did you manage to reach him?"

"No, I'm afraid I couldn't today. But bring him in tomorrow," offered the psychologist. "I may be able to reach him then."

"May be?" asked Watari.

"This is like any other mental disorder, Mr Watari," the psychologist said. "Unpredictable. But I think, with enough time, I should be able to reach each of the personalities."

Author's Note:

Although this fanfiction was originally MRegent's idea, he gave it to me. The dream scenes (seen later) are written by him. If you're interested about my novels or short stories, have a look at my homepage or follow me at Twitter. Thanks for reading, and reviews are always welcome!

-Angela